The objective of this study was to evaluate the torsion stiffness of locked and unlocked distal fixation of long cephalomedullary nail constructs, in both a fresh fracture and healed, stable intertrochanteric fracture model. Samples were tested in both internal and external rotation (0±3 Nm) for a duration of 10 cycles. Each femur was tested without instrumentation (intact femur), with instrumentation and no fracture (healed intertrochanteric fracture), and with instrumentation with an osteotomy creating a stable intertrochanteric fracture (fresh fracture). All specimens were instrumented with a long cephalomedullary nail. A distal interlock was placed in the dynamic position in 1 femur, and the other femur of the matched pair was left unlocked. Mean external (ER) and internal (IR) rotation stiffness for intact femurs without instrumentation (ER, 2.1±0.5 Nm/degree; IR, 2.2±0.5 Nm/degree) was statistically stiffer (P<.05 for all) compared with fresh fractured locked (ER, 1.1±0.2 Nm/degree; IR, 1.1±0.3 Nm/degree) and fresh fractured unlocked (ER, 0.9±0.3 Nm/degree; IR, 1.0±0.2 Nm/degree) samples. Similarly, healed locked (ER, 2.5±0.2 Nm/degree; IR, 2.8±0.1 Nm/degree) and healed unlocked (ER, 2.5±0.5 Nm/degree; IR, 2.4±0.3 Nm/degree) samples had statistically higher stiffness compared with fresh fractured treatments. These results suggest that the unlocked distal constructs provide similar torsional strength compared with locked fixation in these models.
Copyright 2013, SLACK Incorporated.